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What are folks' thoughts on planning to attend the EAPA? My sense is that Skype is becoming the norm, or at least an option candidates can take. This seems to undercut the 'traditional' wisdom of planning to attend (and saying so in cover letters).


Marcus Arvan

jmugg: Very few interviews were held at last year's EAPA. I suspect there will be even fewer this year. But, if you get an interview from one of those who do, I don't know if you'd be out of luck, or if they'd be willing to Skype. Tough call...

Martin Shuster

If a place is so inflexible that they are unwilling to Skype, then you probably don't want to work there.

If cost and/or other factors are an issue, I would avoid the EAPA and request a Skype interview from any schools that contact you.

My 2 cents...


What Martin said. Anyone should be willing to accommodate you with a Skype interview, and most people understand the economic realities: most candidates can't afford the $500-1500 that attending the APA costs.


Recently I had one E-APA interview. I was a few months' pregnant, it wasn't super-visible yet. I had to fly in from Europe and they notified me 1 week before the conference took place, so it was very expensive, well over $1500 to book my transcontinental flight. And then I still had to register and pay the accommodation. Of course, I asked if it could be via Skype, but they said no. Unfortunately, I did not want to disclose that I was pregnant (knowing that this never speaks in one's favor and often against), so I could not use that as a reasonable argument not to go. So, off I went on an 8 hour flight. I was very tired, ill-concentrated, not to mention very ill from the combination of jetlag, flight sickness (which is always a problem for me) and morning sickness - together they made me feel terrible. The interview didn't go well. The head of the SC thanked me several times for traveling so far, with that look of pity in his eyes. Bottom line: I should have told them I was pregnant, rather than fly all the way and screw up my interview. What a waste of money.


Marcus: I was wondering if you would be willing to start a thread on hiring professional consultants. The job market is such a crap shoot game where grad school typically leaves you poorly prepared that it seems sensible, especially if you don't have (good) placement officers at your school or are, like me, a few years out of grad school, to pay someone to look over your letter, cv, writing sample.
This past job season, I hired [Karen from The Professor is In. You can edit this out if you like if that conforms to your blog]. For a fee - which was not cheap, but I wanted to give it my best shot this year - she looked over my cover letter and CV. She surgically removed all pandering, pleading and empty phrases and made my letter professional, helped me to find to concisely formulate my overarching research project, and to phrase a compelling narrative of my teaching philosophy (getting out the "I love teaching!) phrases). The letter seemed to make a noticeable difference: I got several interviews, and was offered a job in a fabulous city in a university I greatly admire.
I am wondering what the experience is of others who have used professional job consultants/coaches. It might well be that my experience is a lucky coincidence (my CV was also a lot stronger this year, with a book at a major press coming out, which certainly helped). It would be of benefit to cocooners to hear some more data on this.


I also worked with Karen (The Professor Is In). It also wasn't cheap, but I also think it made a *big* difference. Her help focused on my cover letter, and on a separate fellowship application (which I was awarded, woo!). I had lots of interviews last time on the market (and received a job). I attribute at least some of that to her help.

What I noticed in working with a consultant is that they've worked out some of what *works* in these documents, whereas most of my advisors at best had some very vague sense of what *they* personally like or dislike. When Karen got my efforts (after hours of editing and comments from advisors), she basically had me completely re-write it. That was eye-opening.

Anonymous Grad

Let's say I am fortunate enough to get a campus interview and give a job talk. Should I plan to prepare a job talk that is different from my writing sample?

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